Author: Consumer Choice Center

Philippine gov’t exerts all-out effort for ‘Bangkota’ pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai

Though the global pandemic has led to a slew of major changes in the forthcoming Expo 2020 Dubai, the construction of the Philippines’ ‘Bangkota’ pavilion remains unhampered and key plans formulated by its team prior to the emergence of COVID-19 stay on, said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

DTI Assistant Secretary for the Trade Promotions Group and PH Expo 2020 Dubai, Alternate Commissioner General Rosvi C. Gaetos said the ‘Bangkota’ is nearing its full completion rate and will soon be ready to captivate the curiosities of the world in the post-pandemic era.

“We are 97% complete with the pavilion; we’re lucky to have a very good building contractor and also a very good project management team,” said Gaetos. “By August 30th, the fully completed pavilion will be turned over to us. That’s the time we can start the technical rehearsals in preparation for the opening this October. So, we are very much ready.”

“I’m glad that with this Dubai Expo, the Philippine government has done all out, in support for budgetary and otherwise. If not for the pandemic, we would have really accomplished everything as early as last year,” she added.

Although the construction, she said, is progressing on all fronts, and in no time would be ready for the much-vaunted largest event ever to be staged in the Arab world, the process had not come easy stemming from the limitations of mobility, especially during the height of the pandemic last year when mutual isolations between countries had dawned.

While they were trying to mount the re-imagined 4,000 years story of the Philippines through the pavilion, the Assistant Secretary said the DTI also had to ‘re-imagine’ ways to supervise the mega-project remotely to ensure that the contractors were bringing to life the designs, true to the vision and ideas of the creative team.

“We were off-site when the pandemic hit; we just came back [from Dubai] to Manila. So it was a big challenge. [Nonetheless], it appears that the vision of the architect and of the government has been met. The only thing that’s missing now would be putting together the Visitors’ Journey to the exhibits. It’s actually the last piece that we are finalizing now,” she said.

“The postponement [of the Expo last year],” she added, “was also good for us because it gave us an opportunity to fine-tune many things. But everything was being done virtually because we could not travel to Dubai to inspect the pavilion onsite. It really became a test of our patience and a test of our creativity to be able to build the pavilion with us here.”

Going to many great lengths just to keep the ground running and meet what had seemed to be impossible during the extraordinary global circumstances set this enormous overseas endeavor apart from the various Philippines’ expo participations in the past, indeed.

Targets remain big as before

The DTI Assistant Secretary admitted that uncertainties had come into play resulting from the disruptions that spiraled during the pandemic.

“The biggest impact of the pandemic is the uncertainty created in our plans. We may have been successful in delivering the pavilion according to our vision and to our goals, but how sure are we that visitors will come and visit it? How sure are we that people will appreciate what we have done? Again, this is the most expensive Philippine pavilion that the government has ever undertaken. I guess that’s the biggest question mark that the pandemic brought to fore,” she related.

“The responsibility for delivering rests largely on the shoulders of the organizers, but they had assured us that the number of target visitors remains. If they can deliver that, we will be incredibly happy customers.”

With the UAE achieving milestone after milestone even amid this global crisis, however, DTI expressed confidence that the visitors target of 25 million during the six-month-long mega-event would be hit, bolstered by Dubai’s proven mantra: ‘Build it and they shall come’.

In the middle of this month, the UAE placed on top of the global rankings in terms of vaccination rate, overtaking Israel, after it administered more than 120 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine per 100 people.

Before this, the Gulf country’s major push to inoculate its nationals and residents alike had proved to be an effective booster shot in gaining the confidence of consumers across the globe. It was named the No. 1 most resilient country in the world for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Middle East and No. 2 worldwide by the Consumer Choice Center (CCC), a non-for-profit organization representing the rights of consumers in over 100 countries.

Taking all these into consideration, the sight of Expo’s success is imminent proving the world once more the other mantra of Dubai that ‘nothing is impossible’ with a bold vision and optimism.

Originally published here.

Propiedad intelectual, el derecho que se debate en el mundo por la liberación de patentes de las vacunas

Organizaciones internacionales rechazaron las medidas propuestas por la OMC. Si se aceptaran y aplicaran, sería contraproducente: profundizaría la crisis y debilitaría las bases de sustentación ante una futura pandemia.

El debate sobre el derecho de propiedad intelectual se puso al rojo vivo con la pretendida iniciativa de liberar las patentes de las vacunas.

Sin embargo, una acción de tal magnitud podría traer aparejado un efecto contrario al deseado ya que se vulneran los esfuerzos de empresas tras haber invertido cientos de millones de dólares en investigación y desarrollo.

Sobre este tópico, la Fundación Libertad y Progreso junto con otras 26 organizaciones internacionales rechazaron las medidas propuestas ante la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC), tendientes a anular los derechos de propiedad intelectual (DPI). El resultado de estas medidas, si se aceptaran y aplicaran, sería contraproducente: profundizaría la crisis en la que nos encontramos y debilitaría las bases de sustentación ante una futura pandemia.

Según el Global Health Innovation Center de Duke University, el mundo se encamina a producir 12.000 millones de dosis de distintas vacunas necesarias para brindar inmunidad de rebaño (70% de la población mundial). Una vejación masiva sobre los derechos de propiedad intelectual afectarán los incentivos para esta producción y futuras investigaciones para el bienestar de la humanidad.

El respeto por los derechos de propiedad intelectual es fundamental para acabar con la pandemia de la Covid-19 y reactivar la economía. La seguridad jurídica garantizará no sólo la producción, sino también el acceso a vacunas.

Libertad y Progreso suscribe a la declaración conjunta que establece los siguientes puntos:

*Los DPI son fundamentales para la producción a escala sostenible de vacunas;
*Los DPI son esenciales para la I&D para futuras pandemias;
*La competencia mundial, no la producción local forzada, será la que mantenga los precios bajos de las vacunas;
*Una suspensión de los DPI no tendrá efecto sobre la producción de vacunas sin una transferencia tecnológica forzada, la cual sería demasiado lenta, estaría llena de problemas legales y causaría mucho daño económico.

Al 20 de abril del 2021, había 217 vacunas anti-Covid (además de más de 600 tratamientos antivirales y terapéuticos) bajo desarrollo a nivel mundial. Este mercado competitivo e innovador se encuentra bajo riesgo con las iniciativas multilaterales anti-DPI. La escasez de vacunas en la Argentina y en otros países, no se hubiera producido o hubiera sido transitoria si los gobiernos respectivos hubieran actuado con diligencia.

Las organizaciones abajo firmantes, hacemos un llamado a los gobiernos para que protejan el sistema de innovación que ha suministrado múltiples vacunas y medicamentos anti-Covid en tiempo récord. De no ser así, la inversión futura para nuevos desarrollos para enfrentar las nuevas cepas de Covid-19 y futuras pandemias será menor y, por ende el costo humano será superior.

La declaración fue firmada por la   Asociación de Consumidores Libres de Costa Rica, Alternate Solutions Institute de Pakistán, Austrian Economic Centre de Austria, Bay Area Council Economic Institute de los Estados Unidos, Centro Mackenzie de Liberdade Econômica del Brasil, Center for Global Enterprise de los Estados Unidos,  Competere de Italia, Consumer Choice Centre de Bélgica, Free Market Foundation de Sudáfrica, Fundación Eléutera de Honduras, Fundación IDEA de México, Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy de Malasia, Geneva Network de Reino Unido, Imani Centre for Policy and Education de Ghana, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation de los Estados Unidos, Instituto de Ciencia Política de Colombia, Instituto de Libre Empresa del Perú, Istituto Bruno Leoni de Italia, Istituto per la Competitivà (I-Com) de Italia, KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific de Malasia Libertad y Desarrollo de Chile, Libertad y Progreso de Argentina, McDonald-Laurier Institute de Canadá, Minimal Government Thinkers de Filipinas, Paramadina Public Policy Institute de Indonesia, Prime Institute de Pakistán y Property Rights Alliance de los Estados Unidos.

Originally published here.

Care sunt cele mai performante și apreciate gări din Europa, cine domină clasamentul mondial în materie de viteză pe calea ferată

Afară vremea a început să semene cu cea dintr-o vară, restricţiile par să se mai domolească pe ici pe acolo, dorul nostru de călătorii parcă începe să ne îmboldească din ce în ce mai abitir. Pentru cei asemenea mie, cu o oarecare fobie de avion dar care nu preferă nici condusul a mii de kilometri în concediu, le oferim astăzi câteva detalii interesante despre transportul feroviar. Nu vă speriaţi, nu vorbesc despre România, ţara în care un marfar face de la Craiova la Nădlac 26 de ore. Situaţia de aici o cunoaşteţi cu toţii. Voi vorbi despre calitatea gărilor, despre cele mai rapide trenuri din lume dar şi despre cele mai extinse reţele de cale ferată în plan global. Datele referitoare la calitatea gărilor sunt centralizate şi monitorizate de către Consumer Choice Center. Aceştia au publicat recent cel de-al doilea Index European al Căilor Ferate, care clasifică cele mai bune stații de tren din Europa pe criterii precum curățenia, accesul la destinații și nivelul de aglomerare de pe platforme. Liderul nu vine din vreo capitală de stat: el este impresionantul Hauptbahnhof din Leipzig, care servește și ca centru comercial, şi a obţinut 116 puncte, scrie FinEco24News

Originally published here.

UAE ranks first in Arab world in handling Covid-19 pandemic

According to the 2021 report of the Resilience Index for dealing with epidemics issued by the Consumer Choice Centre, UAE ranked first in the Arab world and second globally on the list of the most resilient countries in handling and responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the report, the UAE achieved the highest ranking, ahead of the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany in terms of approval of vaccines, distribution, number of intensive care beds, and number of tests.

It added that countries which started tests and vaccination as soon as possible, and provided a sufficient number of intensive care beds, have contained the coronavirus better than others.

Originally published here.

UAE ranks first in Arab world in handling COVID-19 pandemic, says report

The report evaluates 40 countries in terms of approval of vaccines, distribution, number of intensive care beds, and number of tests.

The UAE ranked first in the Arab world and second globally on the list of the most resilient countries in handling and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the 2021 report of the Resilience Index for dealing with epidemics issued by the Consumer Choice Centre.

The report, which relies on available government data, aims at providing an overview of the global health system’s preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic.

It mentioned the UAE in particular, indicating that its performance was much better than all EU countries, with regard to the national vaccination programme.

“The UAE has rapidly launched the vaccination programme and vaccinated more than 50% of the population,” said Fred Roeder, General Manager of Consumer Choice Centre.

The report pointed out that the average of COVID-19 tests in the UAE ranked third after Cyprus and Luxembourg, and ahead of Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France and Italy.

The report added: “The pandemic put health systems around the world to an emergency test, and revealed their strengths and weaknesses, especially with regard to hospital capacity, planning capabilities, and the provision of a regulatory mechanism capable of responding quickly and efficiently upon tests and vaccination.”

The report evaluates 40 countries in terms of approval of vaccines, distribution, number of intensive care beds, and number of tests.

According to the report, the UAE achieved the highest ranking, regarding these criteria, ahead of the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. It added that countries which started tests and vaccination as soon as possible, and provided a sufficient number of intensive care beds, have contained the Corona virus better than others.

Originally published here.

Das sind Deutschlands beste Bahnhöfe

Die Buchungsplattform Omio hat anhand von vier Kategorien die besten Bahnhöfe in Deutschland ermittelt. Der Sieger darf sich über satte 100 Punkte freuen, der europaweit schönste Bahnhof landet nur auf Platz 3 und die rote Laterne trägt eine Stadt im Herzen der Republik.

Nur knapp geschlagen geben muss sich der Leipziger Hauptbahnhof. Das wird die sächsische Stadt aber vermutlich kaum schocken können, denn sie darf sich mit dem Titel eines anderen Rankings schmücken. Die internationale Verbraucherschutzorganisation “Consumer Choice Center” (CCC) hat den Hauptbahnhof zum schönsten und besten Bahnhof Europas 2021 gekürt. Leipzig stößt damit der Londoner Bahnhof St. Pancras vom Thron.

Originally published here.

UAE ranks first in Arab world in handling COVID-19 pandemic, says report

The UAE ranked first in the Arab world and second globally on the list of the most resilient countries in handling and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the 2021 report of the Resilience Index for dealing with epidemics issued by the Consumer Choice Centre.

The report, which relies on available government data, aims at providing an overview of the global health system’s preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic.

It mentioned the UAE in particular, indicating that its performance was much better than all EU countries, with regard to the national vaccination programme. 

“The UAE has rapidly launched the vaccination programme and vaccinated more than 50% of the population,” said Fred Roeder, General Manager of Consumer Choice Centre.

The report pointed out that the average of COVID-19 tests in the UAE ranked third after Cyprus and Luxembourg, and ahead of Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France and Italy.

The report added: “The pandemic put health systems around the world to an emergency test, and revealed their strengths and weaknesses, especially with regard to hospital capacity, planning capabilities, and the provision of a regulatory mechanism capable of responding quickly and efficiently upon tests and vaccination.”

The report evaluates 40 countries in terms of approval of vaccines, distribution, number of intensive care beds, and number of tests.

According to the report, the UAE achieved the highest ranking, regarding these criteria, ahead of the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. It added that countries which started tests and vaccination as soon as possible, and provided a sufficient number of intensive care beds, have contained the Corona virus better than others.

Originally published here.

UAE ranked second most resilient nation globally for Covid-19 response

The UAE was named as the second most resilient country in the world following Israel, for its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Pandemic Resilience Index 2021 which was compiled by the Consumer Choice Centre (CCC), a non-profit organization representing the rights of consumers in more than 100 countries.

The CCC report, using data available on March 31, aimed to provide an overview of global health system preparedness for the Covid-19 crisis.

It singled out the UAE for performing significantly better than EU countries with its vaccination rollout, despite starting just 10 days earlier.

“The UAE is a country that managed to quickly kick off its vaccination program which saw more than 50 percent of its population vaccinated. Its extensive testing also tops the ranking,” said the report’s authors, Fred Roeder, CCC managing director and CCC research manager Maria Chaplia.

They highlighted the UAE’s Covid-19 testing average of 8.29 per 1,000 people each day was third to Cyprus and Luxembourg, and well ahead of countries such as Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France and Italy.

“The pandemic has put health systems globally to an emergency test and exposed both their strong and weak sides,” the report said.

“In particular, that concerns hospital capacity, planning abilities, and the existence of a regulatory system that is able to act fast and efficiently when it comes to testing and vaccination.”

The report measured 40 countries on “vaccination approval, its drive, and time lags that have put brakes on it, critical care bed capacity, and mass testing”.

Israel and the UAE were the only two countries to be given the top rating, ahead of the US, the UK and Germany, who were rated as being “above average”.

The country with the lowest score was Ukraine, with New Zealand also named in the lowest section.

“Countries that started testing and then vaccinating as soon as possible, and who had sufficient, or close to sufficient, intensive care bed capacity, managed to better contain [the] coronavirus,” the report said.

Originally published here.

Emiratos Árabes, segunda nación global más resistente por la respuesta a Covid

Los países que comenzaron a realizar pruebas y luego vacunaron lo antes posible contuvieron mejor el virus

Emiratos Árabes Unidos fue nombrado como el segundo país más resistente del mundo por su respuesta a la pandemia de Covid-19. Solo Israel ocupó un lugar más alto en el Índice de resiliencia pandémica 2021, que fue compilado por el Consumer Choice Center (CCC), una organización sin fines de lucro que representa los derechos de los consumidores en más de 100 países.

El informe de CCC, utilizando datos disponibles al 31 de marzo, tenía como objetivo proporcionar una descripción general de la preparación del sistema de salud mundial para la crisis de Covid-19. Y destacó a EAU por un desempeño significativamente mejor que los países de la Unión Europea con su lanzamiento de vacunación, a pesar de comenzar solo diez días antes.

“Emiratos es un país que logró poner en marcha rápidamente su programa de vacunación, en el que se vacunó a más del 50 por ciento de su población. Por la cantidad de pruebas realizadas también encabezan la clasificación”, señalaron los autores del informe.

El promedio de pruebas Covid-19 en Emiratos es de 8,29 por cada 1,000 personas cada día fue tercero después de Chipre y Luxemburgo, y muy por delante de países como Alemania, República Checa, Hungría, Francia e Italia.

“La pandemia ha puesto a los sistemas de salud de todo el mundo a prueba de emergencia y ha dejado al descubierto sus lados fuertes y débiles”, explicó el informe.

“En particular, eso se refiere a la capacidad hospitalaria, la capacidad de planificación y la existencia de un sistema regulatorio que sea capaz de actuar de manera rápida y eficiente cuando se trata de pruebas y vacunación”.

El informe midió a 40 países sobre “la aprobación de la vacunación, su impulso y los retrasos que la han frenado, la capacidad de las camas de cuidados intensivos y las pruebas masivas”.

Israel y Emiratos Árabes Unidos fueron los únicos dos países que recibieron la calificación más alta, por delante de Estados Unidos, el Reino Unido y Alemania, que estuvieron “por encima del promedio”.

El país con la puntuación más baja fue Ucrania, y Nueva Zelanda que también ocupó un puesto inferior.

“Los países que comenzaron a realizar pruebas y luego vacunaron lo antes posible, y que tenían una capacidad de camas de cuidados intensivos suficiente, o casi suficiente, lograron contener mejor el coronavirus”, concluyó el estudio. 

Originally published here.

UAE hailed world’s 2nd most resilient country for its COVID response — report

For its proactive approach towards vaccination programme, in-depth planning and timely intervention, the UAE has been named the second most resilient country in the world for its Covid-19 pandemic response in the Pandemic Resilience Index 2021. 

Israel ranked higher in the report compiled by the Consumer Choice Centre (CCC), a non-profit organisation representing the rights of consumers in more than 100 countries.

The UAE topped the charts for its impressive performance, leaving behind even EU nations, with its vaccination rollout, despite starting just 10 days earlier. 

Israel and the UAE were the only two countries to be given the top rating, leaving behind the US, the UK and Germany, who were rated as being “above average”.

The CCC report has collated the data available on March 31, to give an overview of how prepared health systems have been globally in handling the pandemic.

“The UAE is a country that managed to quickly kick off its vaccination programme which saw more than 50 per cent of its population vaccinated. Its extensive testing also tops the ranking,” said the report’s authors, Fred Roeder, CCC managing director and CCC research manager Maria Chaplia.

The report also highlighted that the UAE’s Covid-19 testing average of 8.29 per 1,000 people each day was third to Cyprus and Luxembourg, and well ahead of countries such as Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France and Italy.

“The pandemic has put health systems globally to an emergency test and exposed both their strong and weak sides,” the report said.

The report surveyed 40 countries on various parameters including “vaccination approval, its drive, and time lags that have put brakes on it, critical care bed capacity, and mass testing”.

Ukraine followed by New Zealand got the lowest score in the report.

Originally published here.

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